Once you’ve got your provisional licence in hand, it’s officially time for you to start your journey towards getting your full driving licence. One of the biggest factors you need to consider when starting out, however, is how much it will cost to learn to drive. There are two main approaches to learning to drive: taking hourly lessons or taking an intensive (or semi-intensive) course. Your choice will have a big impact on how much it will cost you to learn to drive.
We’re going to compare the cost of learning to drive through hourly lessons versus intensive courses. We’ll also discuss how you can save money by making sure you’re paying for the right number of lessons.
The cost of learning to drive
It all really boils down to whether you’re learning to drive through hourly lessons or a crash course. With the former, you’re paying for lessons—usually one at a time, but occasionally in blocks (for example, 5 hours at a time). The latter, by comparison, is one lump sum paid upfront. Obviously, at first glance, crash courses look extremely expensive, whilst hourly lessons look far cheaper. Of course, looks can be very deceiving.
Let’s take a proper look, shall we?
Whilst the cost of driving lessons will depend on where you live and how many ADIs are available in the area, by using our survey of over 1,000 ADIs across the UK, we can tell you that the average driving lesson rate stands at £26.01. So far, so good. What’s next? Well, research from the Department of Transport suggests that learner drivers should have around 47 hours of professional tuition in order to ensure they’re test-ready and confident with driving on the roads. If you’re paying the average driving lesson rate, you’re looking at £1,248.48—this includes the cost of an additional hour in which you’ll use your instructor’s car for the test. Be aware, though, that rates vary by area.
This cost doesn’t even include your test fees. For starters, all learner drivers need to pass the theory test before they can book a practical—this will cost £23. Your driving test will cost you £62, assuming you’re looking for a weekday test. If you’re on the lookout for the more elusive weekend test, that’ll knock you back £75. Here’s a quick rundown (so far):
- 47 lessons (+ hour for test) + practical test (weekday) = £1,310.48
- 47 lessons (+ hour for test) + theory and practical test (weekday) = £1,333.48
Is that it? Nope—we’re not done yet!
If you’re taking hourly lessons that are set out weeks apart, you’re going to be spending a lot of your time refreshing what you covered in your previous lessons. One of the ways learners fill in those gaps is through practice outside of lessons. The same research mentioned earlier also recommends around 22 hours of private practice with a family member of friend. Now here’s the real kick—to practise in someone else’s car, or your own, you have to be covered by insurance.
Learner driver insurance
Car insurers offer learner drivers specialist, comprehensive policies that will cover them whilst they practise in their own car or someone else’s. You can buy learner driver insurance by the hour, day, week or month. The cost of your insurance will vary depending on factors such as how long you need it for, what type of cover you need and the car you’re driving. You can get a more in-depth look at this in our guide to learner driver insurance.
Let’s take a look an example policy to give you a rough idea. With Admiral, learners can buy insurance on a monthly basis, which tends to be more cost-effective than doing it on a daily basis:
- One month: £71.32
- Two months: £115.94
- Three months: £151.60
If you’re taking hourly lessons on a weekly basis, and you’re looking to practise outside of lessons as well, you’ll need cover for 3 months, at the very least. For example purposes, let’s say that you’re a beginner in need of a theory and practical test, plus insurance cover for 3 months. Using the figures above, this comes out at £1,485.08! An easier—and cheaper—path for many learners is intensive driving courses.
|Please note: the figures we’re using are just a rough guideline. It will be different for you depending on your chosen timeframe and your insurer.|
The entire selling point of an intensive course is that it can get you passed fast. Instead of taking hourly lessons every week or so, you can spend up to 5 hours a day in the car. As you can imagine, this speeds up your learning process dramatically—you could complete 47 hours, hypothetically, in just over a week. It’s not just about the speed, though. Intensive courses can also be much more cost-effective than hourly lessons. For starters, some learners stand a much better chance of passing the test with an intensive course. Why?
The difficulty with hourly lessons is that just when you get the hang of something, you’ve gotten to the end of the lesson. Once your next lesson comes around, you’re having to start from scratch. By having longer lessons (2+ hours), you’re giving yourself more time to get to grips with techniques—meaning you’ll be less likely to need to fill in your spare time with extra practice with friends or family. Additionally, you’ll be able to retain information better and work on your muscle memory until everything feels like second nature.
Learning with PassMeFast
PassMeFast courses are designed to take learners from beginner to pro in no time at all. We even do all of the legwork for you so you can concentrate all of your efforts on learning to drive. We’ll book everything for you and fast-track your tests so that you’re not waiting around. If you’re learning at an intensive pace, you won’t even have enough time to practise outside of lessons—so you won’t have to pay a penny for insurance, unless you’re taking the test in your own car.
PassMeFast couldn’t make things any easier for learner drivers. Don’t believe us? Take PassMeFast alumni Daniel, for example. A beginner with only a few hours of experience, Daniel decided to take our 40 hour course over 7 days! Whilst he might have started out with “a lot of anxiety and panic” in the car, he managed to pass his test first time. If he had decided to learn through hourly lessons, it would have taken him months—and cost him far more.
Paying for the right course
PassMeFast has nine crash course packages available to suit learners with any level of experience—theory and practical tests can be added, according to your specific requirements. If you’ve already got some experience, however, the last thing you want is to end up paying for too many or too few hours. So, what can you do?
Our driving course recommender tool is the most cost-effective way of finding out how many hours you need. All you’ve got to do is answer a few simple questions and then it will point you in the direction of your ideal PassMeFast course. Once you know what you need, it’s as simple as giving us a ring on 0333 123 4949 or booking a course online.
Don’t put off learning to drive or waste your time—and money—taking lessons weeks apart. Instead, book a PassMeFast course and take one step closer to saying those magic words: “I’ve passed!”.